The Unite union has warned that unless government urgently steps in the assist the aviation sector, Gatwick and the communities it support faces becoming a "ghost town".
Unite says analysis of job losses at the UK’s second busiest airport "demonstrate the devastation being wrought across the sector" due to the coronavirus pandemic, and "highlights the failure of government to intervene and protect jobs".
According to Unite, more than 6,000 roles at the airport, including those directly employed by the airport, as well as airlines or other supply chains, have lost their jobs or are at risk of redundancy.
This, however, only covers roles in areas in which Unite is involved, and does not cover retail, hotel or hospitality roles. Gatwick itself has announced plans to reduce its workforce by nearly a quarter – 600 roles – as part of a company-wide restructure.
"The scale of job losses at Gatwick, which is the major employer in the locality, is inevitably having a huge knock-on effect on the economic health of the nearby town of Crawley and the surrounding area," said Unite.
"Unite is warning that without urgent government support, the airport and its communities will become a ’ghost town’."